Merrill Clark's Reviews > What It Takes: The Way to the White House

What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer
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's review
Apr 05, 11

Read in April, 2011

After Ben Smith of Politico out of the blue (lunch with the author) declared this book the best book on a presidential campaign, I had to read it. The book is about the 1988 Presidential election between George H. Bush and Michael Dukakis. In hindsight this campaign and the resulting presidency I think is viewed as a transition from Reagan to Clinton. Richard Ben Cramer is an excellent author, sometimes making up words that seem to fit in context. He does a great job at capturing the contenders during the primaries and their lives back to their births. This is a big book (1045 pages) with small print, so it took a long time to read it. My one minor complaint is the language is rather crude, as could be expected from our politicians. I am not reading this again and will happily give away to the first shout.

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